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3 Common Types of Malware

One of the key functions of any network security system is to guard against malware. Malware is a kind of software designed to cause disruption or gain unauthorized access to the target system. There are several types of malware, but below are some of the most common.

Different Types of Malware & How to Avoid Them


1. Viruses

Although viruses are perhaps the most familiar type of malware, they are not particularly common. Viruses are so-named because they "infect" other files. The virus modifies files on the target system so that when the user activates the modified file, the virus is activated as well. For instance, activating the virus might cause it to delete files, reformat the hard drive, or crash the system.


The best way to avoid viruses is to install anti-virus software and make sure it is up-to-date. Other tips include running scans with the software regularly, hiring an experienced network security professional to monitor your systems, and always thinking before you click on any links. Suspicious messages and websites could carry viruses.


2. Trojan Horses

Trojans, like the fabled horse of old, appear harmless but behave in an unexpected, normally malicious manner. They are disguised as legitimate programs—usually freeware from a website—that trick users into downloading and executing them. The malware could hijack future online sessions or monitor the user's actions and relay the information to the programmer.

To avoid these types of malware, avoid opening unsolicited emails from strangers. Additionally, don't download files from the internet unless you fully trust the website. Lastly, install a firewall to block unsolicited connections, and, again, install and update your anti-virus software.


3. Spyware

Spyware is commonly used by jealous lovers to track the activities of their partners. Unfortunately, it is just as easy for strangers to use it to track keystrokes and capture passwords. You may be infected if your computer suddenly starts exhibiting sluggish behavior, if you experience too many pop-up ads, or if your browser window develops a new toolbar. As with the other malware types, think before you click on emailed links, be careful of free software, and invest in strong anti-virus software.

To beef up your network security against the threat of malware, contact C2XCEL in McKinney, TX. They are veteran-owned and -operated and serve clients throughout Collin County. In addition to network security issues, they also specialize in business phone service, web and video conferencing systems, and other computer services. Find out more about their areas of expertise online, or call (844) 422-9235 to arrange a consultation.